‘I can’t pay my bills’: Childhood teachers quit jobs


Dozens of early childhood teachers in South Australia have rallied today as part of a nationwide strike calling for major industry reforms in the city.

The action led to the closure of nearly 100 childcare centers across the state, with parents asking their children to stay at home and rallying.

The United Workers’ union says the sector is in “crisis”, paying qualified teachers $24 an hour, leading to staff shortages, amid claims some private centers are putting profits on children. Huh.

The employees are demanding better pay and conditions and to be recognized as teachers along with teachers.

The Modbury Community Children’s Center was one of dozens across the state to be closed.

It opened in the morning, but closed at 1 p.m. for employees attending a rally supported by parents.

Director Meera Gamaravi said all the staff rostered today – about 17 teachers – were participating.

“We want to raise awareness of what is happening in this area – our region has been struggling for a very long time,” she said. indely,

“The employees are leaving.”

Meera Gamrawi, Director of Modbury Community Children’s Center at Parliament House today’s rally. Photo: United Workers Union

Ghamrawi said that his center has paid teachers more than the award rates, but to do so he has had to increase the fees of parents.

“It’s going to be really hard on families because our income is families’ fees, so it’s putting pressure on families to pay our employees more and for what they’re worth,” she said.

Ghamrawi said that many teachers are “struggling to make ends meet” financially and they need recognition with teachers for their important work.

“The first five years of a child’s life are fundamental to their development,” she said.

“Children don’t start learning when they start school, they actually start learning at birth. So unless we really put value into that part of their education and development, we don’t see positive results in schools. Will find

So the government needs to see how important our role is and should emphasize on keeping employees in this sector.

A teacher with over 13 years of experience, Ghamrawi is now contemplating leaving the field, though it is her passion.

She is in her second year of a psychology degree at university “because I can’t continue to make sacrifices for more years – I have a mortgage myself and I have bills to pay”.

“If I have to keep a living pay check to pay the check, I can’t continue like this,” she said.

“It’s a very rewarding job but it’s not financially worth it.”

Parents Alison Allen had to work today but kept their three-year-old son at home from Modbury Community Children’s Center to support the cause.

She took the help of her mother-in-law to take care of her son.

“I fully support the staff,” she said. indely,

“Teachers are a very important part of our lives. Being a working parent is very hard.

“The thought of leaving your child with someone is very scary – the staff we have at Modbury are fantastic, they are really passionate.

“We want the federal government to step up and overhaul the entire sector so that we value elementary education.

“If we can’t get people to look after our kids, there are a lot of people who can’t go to work.”

As an example of disparity, Allen, who chairs the center’s governing council, pointed to a time during the pandemic when schools were provided with air purifiers, but said childcare centers were not.

“We’re talking about all the kids who are under the vaccination age and don’t have access to it,” she said.

Across the country, hundreds of centers were registered to close as part of a national action that was attended by thousands of teachers, affecting an estimated 70,000 families.

Anne Ely, Minister of Early Childhood Education, said she had met with early childhood educators and caregivers from across the country and “to gain a deeper understanding of the issues facing the sector and help us recruit, train, and provide a high level of professional competence.” Discussions will continue to develop solutions to help maintain – quality early childhood education and care workforce”.

Fees for center-based care have increased by more than 40 percent in the past eight years, he said.

“We have a plan to deliver a strong early childhood education workforce with a secure pipeline of workers,” she said.

“We are increasing the number of university spots, rolling out fee-free TAFE places, updating the Fair Work Act to give more workers access to bargain benefits, and closing the gender pay gap. action can be taken.” Our early childhood teachers make an important and unique contribution to the lives of our children and Australian families – it is critical that we correctly recognize the workforce as teachers, not as the focus of children.

“Supporting and growing the early childhood education and care workforce is critical to delivering on our historic affordable child care reforms, ensuring that more children can access critical foundation years of education, and increasing the need for the workforce, especially among women. to promote participation.”

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